We entered the Plaza of Jaume two hours early to see the Castelleres. Sergio told me if you didn’t get there early the crowd would be too great to enter the plaza.
The giants we had seen the night before were back and were doing dances with one another in the center of the plaza. We watched an hour and a half of giant dancing before the really good stuff happened.
We made our way to the perimeter of the plaza where we noticed that someone had placed a bunch of metal gates to separate crowds against the wall. They had formed somewhat of a ledge that you could climb up onto the gates and so up we went. It wasn’t really very stable but with a view like that we were willing to take a risk. And we had the perfect view because, now, we were about five feet taller than the other thousands of people below us.
The celebration started first with towers of four people. A man surrounded by a large group stabilized him at the bottom. Then another man climbed up to stand on his shoulders, then a girl around my age, and last a small child wearing a helmet. Once the child was up the foundation paraded forward through the throng of people, the small child on top holding on tightly.
The Castellers got significantly more elaborate and bigger as the celebration went on. Pretty soon we were seeing large groups hoist twenty or thirty people vertically. I have to say it was one of the coolest things I have witnessed in my life. The massive throng of people, the atmosphere of excitement, and the sheer craziness of this tradition made quite an impression on me.
For more awesome pictures (in bigger sizes too) check out my photos here!
Oh, and for the record, Pilar assures me this is not dangerous. She claims no one gets hurt and no one has ever died. I did watch a small boy fall 25 feet into a crowd of people...I don't know you can be the judge.